Thursday, 22 March 2012

Yeti, Cowley Road

So far food blogging hasn't brought me too much fame or fortune, but it did mean that when a couple of old friends came to Oxford for a visit this week, they asked me to choose somewhere for a group meal. I toyed with old favourites like Mario's and Qumins, but following my discovery of the Nepalese momo van at Gloucester Green on market day, I was intrigued by reports of a restaurant some way down the Cowley Road, serving not merely dumplings but a full Nepalese menu. My hunch (backed up by some very positive reviews) paid off: our meal at Yeti was, on the whole, impressive.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Crisis Skylight cafe at the OFS, George Street

A few days ago Starbucks had a special gimmick for a morning - you got a free coffee if you introduced yourself to the staff. This was advertising the fact that from now on they'll be taking customers' names, so that each hot drink can be matched more easily to the person who ordered it. Being a privacy-loving, sporadically misanthropic kind of person, that was enough to make me resolve to avoid buying coffee in Starbucks in future (which will save me all of about £3 a year). Still, this post won't debate the respective merits of big chains and small coffee shops, but will focus on a new(ish) Oxford establishment which is definitely worthy of your custom.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Makan La, St Michael's Street

There are restaurants that I want to like. The omens for Makan La were good. It's tucked away in St Michael's Street, an escape route from Cornmarket with a good pub and some characterful buildings (and the Oxford Union and the homeless shelter on either side as a nice illustration of the two extremes of Oxford life). Underneath its English cousin the Nosebag, and staffed by one rather laconic waiter, the restaurant feels like a tearoom but actually serves a menu of reasonably priced Malaysian food until quite late in the evening. I'd love to say that this is a great local standby, good for a quick dinner when you can't be bothered to cook, but we left quite disappointed, for several reasons.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Momo, Gloucester Green

The disappointment of the great dim sum debacle has left me all the more keen to find some decent dumplings. Oxford does boast a couple of restaurants that claim to do proper dim sum but, before I'd got round to going, a friend told me about a mysterious 'Chinese dumplings van' that used to be found at Gloucester Green market on certain days. Further investigations and some on-the-spot research revealed the truth: the dumplings - 'momos' - are actually Tibetan and Nepalese-style, and the van of the same name appears on market day - Wednesday.